The OutMusic Awards are a week out and this week we continue our mini-series with the nominees for the OutStanding Single of the Year. A couple of them you’ve likely heard of because we’ve featured them here before. The rest — well, you’re about to be introduced.
See the nominees after the jump.
Ray Boltz — “Don’t Tell Me Who To Love”
This is probably the best produced of the nominees. And why not? Ray Boltz is a big name. After he came out, he stuck with his gospel roots but went with some major pop flair. Here he gives a dancey defiance to discrimination. His heart’s in the right place and the song probably should have been a bigger hit among gays, but the problem I have is that this was out in 2008 when SoulForce used it as their theme song to the video clip below. Don’t the OMA’s have a timeframe for releases to be eligible? I imagine they are going by the album date. The song, although already published, was on the 2010 album True. I can see this song winning, but out of absolute fairness, I don’t think it should even be here.
Terese Genecco — “If I Was a Boy”
Genecco’s got major cred behind her. A previous OMA nominee and winner along with having the “longest-running nightclub act on Broadway,” there is no denying her talents. But I’m sorry, this song is a yawner.
Brian Kent — “I’ll Find a Way”
Kent could be in an interesting position next Monday night. His song could sneak in because it’s the most different and just as well produced as Boltz’s. He’s full-on dance party here with the whole positive attitude thing going on. If he’s not duking it out with Boltz on creating a slick production, he’ll duke it out with Utley in the hunky nominee factor.
Sonia and Disappear Fear — “Who I Am”
Although this video is Sonia live, the song is a simple one that has a touching delicacy. As for Single of the Year status, it might be a little too simple, but Sonia has a knack for making a song flourish with so little.
Justin Utley — “Stand for Something”
I lean toward Utley’s earlier stuff. This single released last year is a nice enough song, but I thought it showed Utley at his most restrained. Here he starts with a quiet tone to swell up into a sort of anthemic, feel-good motivator.
I’m kind of torn here. I wouldn’t think that Genecco has a chance here, and Utley could take it, but I’d consider him a definite underdog. Sonia’s airy and minimalist track is also impressive. Boltz gets his momentum from his big name and a song that speaks to people. Kent definitely appeals to the dance-minded while giving a worthwhile motivator himself. It would seem this year, OMA likes the self-help, daily-affirmation type of sounds here because they all (save for Genecco’s) have that tone.
And if I was picking the winner, I would go with Kent.